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PostPosted: Sat August 18th, 2018, 01:07 GMT 
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Posts: 1001
Tangled Up in Blue 2018

Melbourne, August 13

1
Early one morning the sun was shining
She was laying in bed
I'm wondering if she'd changed at all
If her hair was still red

Their folks they said their lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like mama's homemade dress
Papa's bankbook wasn't big enough

He was standing on the side of the road
Rain falling on his shoes
Heading out for the east coast
Radio blasting the news
Right straight through
Tangled up in blue

2
She was married when they first met
Soon to be divorced
Yeah well he helped her out of a jam I guess
Then he let the law take its course

They drove that car just as far as they could
Abandoned it way out west
Left it there by the side of the road
Somewhere in the wilderness

He turned around to look at her
She was walking away
Saying over her shoulder:
"We're gonna meet again some sweet day
Stepping down the avenue
Tangled up in blue"

3
She lit a burner on the stove
And she swept away the dust
"You look like somebody that I used to know", she said
"Like somebody that I used to trust"

Then she opened up a book of poems
She said: "Just so you'll know
Memorize these lines and remember this rhymes
When you're out there walking to and fro" *

Every one of them words rang true
Glowed all like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul
From me to you
Tangled up in blue

4
I'm going on back again
Gotta get to them somehow
And yesterday is dead and gone
And tomorrow might as well be now

Some of them moving the mountain
Some of them down in the ground
Some of their names written in flames
Some of them, well they just left town

Me, I'm still on the road
Going from joint to joint
We always did feel the same
We just saw it from a different point
Different point of view
Tangled up in blue


* might be: Then she opened up a book of poems
She said, just so you'll know:
"Memorize these lines and remember this rhymes
When you're out there walking to and fro"




What an "I'm" Can Do

The "I'm wondering if..." (on both of the Melbourne nights) made me think of an old post by Long John (guy who used to be the engine of expectingrain):

Long John wrote:
In this song, Dylan has also been known to use redirection to change who is speaking, or to whom he is speaking, sometimes several times during the song.


"I'm wondering if she'd changed at all": The narrator wondering if she'd changed at all - this raises (or possibly solves) several questions and adds an active layer to the story in a perfectly vague way.

The "She was laying in bed / I'm wondering if she'd changed at all" (instead of he was wondering if she'd changed at all) also adds a new time dimension (besides including the narrator in an interesting way) to the first verse; now it isn't just a past tense telling, the now is alive in the verse.


Pasting these in too:

Long Johnny wrote:
In a 1978 interview Dylan explained this style of songwriting: "What's different about it is that there's a code in the lyrics, and there's also no sense of time. There's no respect for it. You've got yesterday, today and tomorrow all in the same room, and there's very little you can't imagine not happening."


"Yesterday is dead and gone
Tomorrow might as well be now'


Long Johnny wrote:
For me the most incredible element in the song is the balance between what is revealed and what isn't. There is never quite enough information for a really coherent narrative to emerge, but just enough to stop it from totally collapsing into incoherency.


The "I'm wondering if" adds to this; adds confusion in a good way, the story keeping the balance while opening up a new door.

(My, what an "I'm" can do!)


Long Johnny wrote:
The two people meet. They were together for a while, long enough for her parents to disapprove of him.


"Their folks they said their lives together" - this too changes what we know a (tiny) bit.


Long Johnny wrote:
Tangled Up In Blue is a unique song. It may well be Dylan's "best" song (in as much as that can mean anything) and it is a song he seems to never really finish writing. If he were Leonard Cohen we might just now be getting it for the first time but, he's not, and instead he seems to keep working on it where we can see it.

But the whole thing about Dylan reworking his material is vastly overstated I think. The vast majority of it is just him mumbling lyrics in some bizarre cadence for no reason other than he's drunk or trying to stay awake.



Long Johnny wrote:
With Tangled Up In Blue as the best example, he seems to always want to play with his best songs. It isn't so much that he won't "finish" them as it is that this changing, shifting shape IS what they are "finished." They won't be "fixed," set in concrete, made to stand still.

It's an advantage the performing songwriter has over the novelist or poet, isn't it? And a big one.

It's unworkable to put out a new edition of a novel every month with a different chapter, a new secondary character, etc. But if you write songs that use language to create open spaces within which events aren't all nailed down neatly in place.... oh boy. :P



https://expectingrain.com/discussions/v ... 0&p=230427

https://expectingrain.com/discussions/v ... 7&p=523778

https://expectingrain.com/discussions/v ... =6&t=29251

https://expectingrain.com/discussions/v ... 2&start=25


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PostPosted: Sat August 18th, 2018, 02:11 GMT 

Joined: Tue June 21st, 2016, 17:01 GMT
Posts: 281
He's getting intertextual again. "Yesterday is dead and gone" is from "Help Me Make It through the Night," by his friend Kris Kristofferson:

Yesterday is dead and gone
And tomorrow's out of sight
And it's sad to be alone
Help me make it through the night

In a way those lines fit very well with the idea of past, present, and future being jumbled together. And in a way they're a negation of it--the singer is trying to deny the reality of any time but the present. Dylan's adaptation of Kristofferson's second line is a neat attempt to bridge those points of view: "tomorrow's out of sight" becomes "tomorrow might as well be now."


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PostPosted: Sat August 18th, 2018, 02:15 GMT 
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Joined: Sun April 15th, 2007, 07:03 GMT
Posts: 1001
Adelaide, August 11

1
Early one morning the sun was shining
He was laying in bed
Wondering if she'd changed at all
If her hair was still red

Their folks they said their lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never liked mama's homemade dress
Papa's bankbook wasn't big enough

He was standing on the side of the road
Rain falling on his shoes
Heading out for the east coast
Radio blasting the news
Right straight through
Tangled up in blue

2
She was married when they first met
Soon to be divorced
He helped her out of a jam I guess
Then he let the law take its course

They drove that car just as far as they could
And they abandoned it way out west
They left it there by the side of the road
Somewhere in the wilderness

He was... She turned around to look at him
She was walking away
Saying over her shoulder:
"We're gonna meet again some day
Stepping down the avenue
Tangled up in blue"

3
She lit a burner on the stove
She swept away the dust
"You look like somebody that I used to know", she said
"Somebody that I used to trust"

Then she opened up a book of poems
She said to me: "Just so you will know
Memorize these lines and remember this rhymes
When you're out there walking to and fro"

Every one of them words rang true
And they glowed like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul
From me to you
Tangled up in blue

4
Now I'm going on back again
I've got to get to them somehow
Yesterday is dead and gone
Tomorrow might as well be now

Some of them went down the mountain
Some of them down in the ground
Some of their names written in flames
Some of them, well they just left town

Me, I'm still on the road
I'm going from joint to joint
We always felt the same
Depending on your point
Of view
Tangled up in blue


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PostPosted: Sat August 18th, 2018, 04:25 GMT 
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Joined: Sat October 27th, 2007, 12:44 GMT
Posts: 17685
Location: Workin' as a postal clerk
Would love LJ's read on the new version, textually, at least :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat August 18th, 2018, 10:40 GMT 
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Joined: Tue August 16th, 2011, 19:00 GMT
Posts: 236
Location: Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Interesting post, but Bob has been singing exactly this version since (circa) 2014. No new lines at all. "Some went down on the mountains, some went down to the ground": I always felt some great irony here!


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PostPosted: Sun August 19th, 2018, 08:36 GMT 
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Joined: Sun April 15th, 2007, 07:03 GMT
Posts: 1001
Thanks for the comments!

samu_93 wrote:
Interesting post, but Bob has been singing exactly this version since (circa) 2014. No new lines at all.


Lines 1:3, 2:7 and 4:5 were debuted in Australia 2018, unless you can prove me wrong of course.

Line 2:12 was debuted a few weeks ago, to the best of my knowledge.

When did he sing "Left it there by the side of the road" (or even something similar) before Australia? Or "some sweet day" (2:12) in 2014, 2015, 2016 or 2017? (Maybe he did sing it, I'm not aware of it though.)


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PostPosted: Sun August 19th, 2018, 09:02 GMT 
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Posts: 236
Location: Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Yes, you’re right. Those few lines are new, even if very similar to the old ones. (The first version is also “went on the mountain” in the last stanza, or at least I’m hearing so). Interesting variations, of course, but I personally think that, in this case, they don’t change too much the meaning. But maybe I’m wrong! :D


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PostPosted: Sun August 19th, 2018, 09:06 GMT 
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Posts: 236
Location: Emilia-Romagna, Italy
“Some sweet day”, by the way, was sung a lot of times before. I also heard it in some Italian concerts I attended last spring in Italy, but I think that all the other little variations are new! I was only comparing these to the new lyrics in “Masterpiece “ and “Gotta Serve Somebody”, rewritten and changed multiple times during this Asian/Aussie tour. Those are really rewritten, while the little changes in Tangled are more similar to Bob improvising or forgetting some lines... 8) By the way interesting post and observations!


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PostPosted: Sun August 19th, 2018, 10:26 GMT 
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samu_93 wrote:
Yes, you’re right. Those few lines are new, even if very similar to the old ones. (The first version is also “went on the mountain” in the last stanza, or at least I’m hearing so). Interesting variations, of course, but I personally think that, in this case, they don’t change too much the meaning. But maybe I’m wrong! :D


samu_93 wrote:
“Some sweet day”, by the way, was sung a lot of times before. I also heard it in some Italian concerts I attended last spring in Italy, but I think that all the other little variations are new! I was only comparing these to the new lyrics in “Masterpiece “ and “Gotta Serve Somebody”, rewritten and changed multiple times during this Asian/Aussie tour. Those are really rewritten, while the little changes in Tangled are more similar to Bob improvising or forgetting some lines... 8) By the way interesting post and observations!


Thanks, and thanks for the "some sweet day" info.

"(The first version is also “went on the mountain” in the last stanza, or at least I’m hearing so)." I presume you mean Adelaide (the second version in the thread but August 11), to me it sounded more like "went on the mountain" too (I even posted it as that at first) than "went down", but in some performances it's clearly "went down", some could be either. But yes, it's quite possibly:

Adelaide, August 11

Some of them went on the mountain
Some of them down in the ground

Some of the variations are certainly insignificant, but they're still variations, and the thing is: "Tangled" is changing more than usually right now. 2018 renditions of "Tangled Up in Blue", "Simple Twist of Fate" and "Gotta Serve Somebody" are good examples of Dylan clearly wanting to keep lyrics renewed.

In the "Tangled" of August 14 they "took" the car as far as they could (instead of drove).

Moments later, he's mumbling something like "as she began to leave" - in this instance maybe because of being unfocused and forgetting the words (and maybe not); like you're saying: "more similar to Bob improvising or forgetting some lines".

The "I'm" is a different story.

The "I'm", August 13, Tangled line 1:3, is pronounced and assured, as if Bob wants there to be no mistaking the story now goes "She was laying in bed / I'm wondering if she'd changed at all", sounds as if it's a planned story change.

But maybe I’m wrong too, of course.

(And I agree with you, "Masterpiece" and "Gotta Serve Somebody" are really rewritten.)


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PostPosted: Sun August 19th, 2018, 10:53 GMT 
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Location: Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Snowcap wrote:
samu_93 wrote:
Yes, you’re right. Those few lines are new, even if very similar to the old ones. (The first version is also “went on the mountain” in the last stanza, or at least I’m hearing so). Interesting variations, of course, but I personally think that, in this case, they don’t change too much the meaning. But maybe I’m wrong! :D


samu_93 wrote:
“Some sweet day”, by the way, was sung a lot of times before. I also heard it in some Italian concerts I attended last spring in Italy, but I think that all the other little variations are new! I was only comparing these to the new lyrics in “Masterpiece “ and “Gotta Serve Somebody”, rewritten and changed multiple times during this Asian/Aussie tour. Those are really rewritten, while the little changes in Tangled are more similar to Bob improvising or forgetting some lines... 8) By the way interesting post and observations!


Thanks, and thanks for the "some sweet day" info.

"(The first version is also “went on the mountain” in the last stanza, or at least I’m hearing so)." I presume you mean Adelaide (the second version in the thread but August 11), to me it sounded more like "went on the mountain" too (I even posted it as that at first) than "went down", but in some performances it's clearly "went down", some could be either. But yes, it's quite possibly:

Adelaide, August 11

Some of them went on the mountain
Some of them down in the ground

Some of the variations are certainly insignificant, but they're still variations, and the thing is: "Tangled" is changing more than usually right now. 2018 renditions of "Tangled Up in Blue", "Simple Twist of Fate" and "Gotta Serve Somebody" are good examples of Dylan clearly wanting to keep lyrics renewed.

In the "Tangled" of August 14 they "took" the car as far as they could (instead of drove).

Moments later, he's mumbling something like "as she began to leave" - in this instance maybe because of being unfocused and forgetting the words (and maybe not); like you're saying: "more similar to Bob improvising or forgetting some lines".

The "I'm" is a different story.

The "I'm", August 13, Tangled line 1:3, is pronounced and assured, as if Bob wants there to be no mistaking the story now goes "She was laying in bed / I'm wondering if she'd changed at all", sounds as if it's a planned story change.

But maybe I’m wrong too, of course.

(And I agree with you, "Masterpiece" and "Gotta Serve Somebody" are really rewritten.)


I absolutely agree with you. The changes in "Tangled" - even when they're just slightly different - are significant and deep, because that song, along with "Simple", "Long and Wasted Years" and others, is the ever-changing opera by Bob. The narrative course, its ideas, its confusing situations... Every line in here is pure genius. I also agree with you on the "as she began to leave", very curious line, and on "I'm wondering if". It's a little and concise - but very meaningful - variation, that confuses the story one time more. The he/she, I/she, he/I/she keep changing and blowing everything up! Of course, as I've already said, "Masterpiece" and "Somebody" are really rewritten, but the changes in "Tangled" are also interesting, and you did a hard work finding them out. Just pointed out that sometimes even Bob could mess it up and forget/improvise some lines! :lol: :lol:


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